Prince Harry vows to 'finish mum's job' in touching HIV statement

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry has vowed to "finish mum's job" as he made a touching HIV statement.

Prince Harry has urged members of the public to "go and get a test" for HIV as he vowed to continue his late mother's 'unfinished' HIV work.

Speaking from his LA mansion in which he is reportedly facing a 'rotten hurdle' to sell, Prince Harry opened up on the importance of "finishing the job" that his mother Princess Diana started in terms of tackling HIV.

During the 30-minute call with ex-Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas, who is his friend, to raise awareness for National HIV Testing Week, Harry stressed that he was going to "finish mum's job"

Prince Harry described himself as 'a typical guy' who just wants to 'fix things', and said he feels an 'obligation' to try to continue his late mother's bid, following her death, to remove the stigma surrounding the virus.

The Duke of Sussex said of his late mother, 'I could never fill her shoes, especially in this particular space, but because of what she did and what she stood for and how vocal she was about this issue… it's a converging of all these different pieces.'

Prince Harry mum Princess Diana, AIDS

British royal Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), wearing a red two-piece suit by Catherine Walker, sits with a patient during a visit to London Lighthouse, a centre for people affected by HIV and AIDS, in London, England, 8th October 1996. (Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

According to the latest statistics, there are believed to be around 105,000 people living with HIV in the UK - two-thirds of them are men - and the vast majority of these people are diagnosed. There are around 1,000 new diagnoses overall each year - from around 1million tests annually.

Mr Thomas revealed he was HIV positive in 2020, having gone through the 'petrifying' ordeal of diagnosed in secret.

But it was hoped that normalising HIV testing could help achieve the goal of ending new HIV cases in the UK by 2030 after diagnoses plunged over the last decade. - with just 2,600 in 2020 — partly because of the success of prevention efforts but also due to a lack of testing during the Covid pandemic.

In the short video clip shared on Mr Thomas's Twitter, speaking from his LA home, Prince Harry said, "Once you get to meet people and you see the suffering around the world, I certainly can't turn my back on that. Then add in the fact that my mum's work was unfinished, I feel obligated to try and continue that as much as possible."

The Duke added, 'Every single one of us has a duty, or at least an opportunity, to get tested ourselves or to make it easier for everybody else to get tested. And then it just becomes a regular thing like anything else.

'This testing week, especially in the UK, or wherever you are in the world, go and get a test. Let people know that you know your status. Do it.'

To mark National HIV Testing Week, which started on 7th of February, free HIV home test kits can be ordered online in the UK or tests can be carried out at local sexual health or community clinics.

The Duke got tested in 2016 and shared the result with the public. You can watch Harry get the instant test in the video below...

Prince Harry also described how the virus used to be a death sentence, but was now a 'manageable disease'.

He praised his mother's empathy and curiosity, and added, "What my mum did and so many other people did at that time was to smash that wall down, and kick the door open and say, 'No, when people are suffering, then we need to learn more'.

"I've seen huge change. People are able and happy to talk about HIV so much more openly, but the stigma still exists and therefore the testing is still a problem."

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)